Weight a Second: The Secret of Good Health and Godliness

Standing on the scale, I watched the digital numbers escalate while my weight was calculated. The final number made me cringe.

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How can I exercise all week, control my appetite, and not lose an ounce?

Five weeks earlier, I faced two choices: Lose weight or buy a bigger pair of pants. I elected to spend my summer eating more fruits and vegetables and exercise regularly.

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I was motivated as long as my pounds decreased. When I hit the plateau, self discipline took a nose dive.

That evening, I indulged my craving for a HUGE bowl of popcorn…smothered with melted butter. Yep, ate the whole thing.

I don’t know how many calories I consumed, but I didn’t taste an ounce of guilt when I licked the bottom of the greasy bowl.

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Contrary to all the weight loss miracle ads, losing weight (in a healthy way) is a slow, methodic process. And when it comes to building and toning muscles, forget instant gratification.  

However, since I began eating healthier and exercising, my pants are less tight. I have more energy; more strength. My mental outlook improved. Isn’t that worth the process?

Or am I only focused on an end result—reaching that ideal number on my scale? If that’s true, my healthy regimen is a temporary fling like a summer romance instead of a necessary, life-long commitment.

The same holds true for spiritual growth.

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Years ago, whenever I wanted to experience more of God’s presence and become a “better Christian,” I’d pray more and inundate myself with reading the Bible and Christian material.

I experienced spiritual growth spurts; glimpsed moments of euphoria. However, I couldn’t maintain that spiritual high or rate of growth. Finally, I realized…

There’s no such thing as microwave Christianity.

We renew our minds by the daily reading of God’s Word. Then we’re chiseled and changed by the Holy Spirit in the minuscule moments of each day.

This slow, sometimes painful, chiseling process is necessary to achieve God’s finished product: molding us into the likeness of Christ. (Romans 8:28,29)

My task is learning how to obey and cooperate when I’m confronted with God’s Word. For example…

  • Do I listen to my heart’s desire to complain, scold, attack, and ridicule? Or make peace?
  • Do I apply God’s Word throughout my week even though the lessons are painful?
  • Do I sweat to do the right thing? Or cave in when something becomes too difficult?
  • Do I rely on my own strength? Or lean on the Lord to make a way in the wilderness?

“Sanctification is an impartation, not an imitation.” (Oswald Chambers, My Utmost for His Highest).

If I want to strengthen my faith and exhibit the fruit of the Spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control (Galatians 5:22),

I must abide in Christ.

Not sporadically during a spiritual whim, but habitually.

Even in this … endeavor to lose weight and live healthy.

And the Winner Is?

I lay in bed, my mind in a fetal position.

Drugged by the words I’d read in an article: “Sex After Christianity” by Rod Dreher

Christians have lost the cultural war. What will Christianity look like in 40 years?   

Wars, terrorist’s bombings, sex trafficking, Dr. Gossner’s gruesome third-trimester abortions, the gun slaughter of children in their classrooms …and now I had to think about the demise of the Christian church?

How could I sleep knowing the enemy prowls this earth like a lion seeking to kill and destroy? And to the victor go the spoils: men’s unsaved souls.

When I awoke, my heart was an anchor dragging me through the day. My facial expression looked as though someone had died.

Then I remembered SOMEONE HAD DIED.

“For Christ also died for sins once for all, the just for the unjust, in order that He might bring us to God, having been put to death in the flesh, but made alive in the spirit.” (1 Peter 3:18)

Buoyed by truth, I listened to praise music. Instead of world news, I focused on the GOOD NEWS…the gospel of Christ, the only hope for humanity.

Battles are waged, but the war for righteousness was won centuries ago…by the Prince of Peace who came to earth to reconcile man to God.

But at the time, Jesus  didn’t look like the victor. Instead of wearing an olive wreath, he wore a crown of thorns.

Did Satan dance a jig, give his demons “a high five” when he watched Jesus shedding blood on the cross?

Did the smug, self-righteous religious leaders think they’d won by silencing the man who claimed to be the Son of God? A victory short-lived once they heard people claim Christ had risen from the grave.

Did Christ’s apostles taste victory as they died a martyr’s death?

Did the culture appear to win while Christians were thrown to the lions, impaled on stakes?

Even now the blood and the Voice of the Martyrs across this globe cry out, “How long, O Lord, holy and true, wilt Thou refrain from judging and avenging our blood on those who dwell on the earth?” (Rev 6:10)

Rest assured, Jesus says, “I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to render to every man according to what he has done.”(Revelation 22:12)

And knowing this, I laughed in the face of the enemy. You fooled me. For a second, I thought all was lost. But that’s not true….

“For whatever is born of God overcomes the world; and this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith. And who is the one who overcomes the world, but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?” (1 John 5:4, 5)